Mountain Hardwear Announces New Additions to Its 2024 Athlete And Ambassador Team

March 12, 2024

Richmond, Calif. [March 12, 2024] /OUTDOOR SPORTSWIRE/ – Mountain Hardwear, a leader in high-performance equipment and apparel for climbers, mountaineers, skiers, snowboarders and outdoor athletes, is continuously driven by its team of athletes and ambassadors to make the highest performing gear for the most extreme conditions. The brand added four new members to its current athlete team consisting of 17 of the globe’s most distinguished and influential alpinists, climbers, skiers and snowboarders. This impressive roster includes Olympians and seasoned Everest guides, symbolizing the brand’s commitment to excellence and adventure. These additions to the Mountain Hardwear athlete team include Erin Spong, Hunter Knoll, Scott Lehmann and Shayna Unger.

“Mountain Hardwear originated from a vision to design groundbreaking gear that could meet the challenges of our founders and friends’ diverse adventures – spanning from rock and ice to snow and alpine terrain,” said Matt Burbach, the Vice President of Marketing at Mountain Hardwear. “Our team of athletes and ambassadors has played a pivotal role in shaping our brand over the years, contributing invaluable perspectives on products and culture, embodying a genuine spirit, and fostering a profound respect for the outdoors and mountains. Each individual leaves an indelible mark on their respective communities, and together with our products, this engagement forms the essence of what defines Mountain Hardwear.”

Erin Spong (she/her)

Born and raised an alpine ski racer in Bloomington, Minnesota, skiing has been the center of Erin’s world since she was three years old. After multiple years at FREESKIER Magazine as the assistant editor, Erin is now the senior editorial contributor for FREESKIER while also building her own professional ski career as a backcountry freerider. Sponsored by Nordica, CAST Touring, Uvex and now Mountain Hardwear, Erin feels incredibly fortunate for the life she lives based in Pocatello, Idaho, with her partner and Shih-Poo Gary. Fully retired from the competition side of skiing, Erin is passionate about the creative side of producing ski films. You can find her skiing in “Advice For Girls,” “Bucket Clips 2,” and her own personal project, “DÉRIVE” on Visit Idaho’s channels in January of 2024. When Erin is not skiing, you can find her teaching in the yoga studio, ripping trails on her mountain bike or hammering away at the keyboard for her next big story.

Hunter Knoll (he/him)

Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Hunter’s whole life has revolved around recreating outdoors. He started snowboarding when he was 10 after seeing an episode of Rocket Power and begging his parents to take his brother and him. Hunter hasn’t missed a winter since. Snowboarding, at its core, is pure self expression. Each individual on the mountain brings their own style and way of interpreting the terrain in front of them. This is why he snowboards, he can let his riding do the talking. He’s beyond excited to be joining the team of incredible people who are Mountain Hardwear and combining the way he sees the mountains with the brand’s timeless style. Hunter grew up in Hood River, Ore. but currently calls Bellingham, Wash. home base. Most winters he doesn’t have much of a need to leave home in search of snow but this season, with an El Niño forecast, isn’t a sure bet. This has him keeping an eye on weather forecasts around the world to see where he might be able to find some soft turns and experience something new. You can usually catch him at the Dirksen Derby and the Mt. Baker Legendary Banked Slalom.

Scott Lehmann (he/him)

Scott is a third-generation deaf person, educator, storyteller and mountaineer. Growing up, Scott did not have any deaf representation in the outdoors and faced limited access to outdoor education due to communication barriers, so the outdoors was not exactly a big part of Scott’s early life. It wasn’t until he was 23 years old, fresh out of college and on a cross-country road trip with his deaf friends that he climbed a mountain for the first time. During this climb, he struggled to figure out how to put on crampons and rope up, leading to the realization that there was much more he needed to learn about mountaineering. Scott taught himself by studying YouTube videos and asking other climbers on mountains using paper and pen. Over the last ten years, Scott has climbed different places around the world. Some of his highlights include: being part of the first all-deaf team to summit Aconcagua and Denali, becoming the first deaf individual to summit all 50 United States High Points, and, most recently, becoming the first deaf American to reach Mount Everest and Lhotse. The recent climbs also makes him one of two deaf individuals to achieve a double ascent of 8000m back to back in just 26 hours.

Shayna Unger (she/her)

Shayna is a deaf woman, educator, storyteller and mountaineer. Born into a multigenerational deaf family and raised in the deaf community, Shayna’s childhood included going on 90’s-style camping trips in the Northeastern US with her family. As soon as her family got to the campsites, Shayna and her siblings would run off to explore the outdoors. But the lack of deaf representation in outdoor sports meant she was never really exposed to different types of outdoor sports. In 2015, Shayna climbed her very first summit at Mount Kilimanjaro, and ever since then, she has discovered her passion for climbing mountains. Her highlights include being part of the first all-deaf team to summit Aconcagua and Denali and becoming the first deaf woman to summit Matterhorn, Mount Everest and Lhotse. Her recent climbs in the Himalayas made her one of two deaf individuals to achieve a double ascent of 8000m back to back in just 26 hours.

Scott Lehmann and Shayna Unger launched a project called “Seeing Beyond: Seven Summits” with the aim of becoming the first deaf individuals to reach the Seven Summits. It’s also more than just the peaks; it’s about raising awareness, improving accessibility to information and education, increasing deaf and disabled representation and inspiring their community to explore outdoors.

“We are incredibly excited to welcome Erin, Hunter, Scott and Shayna to the Mountain Hardwear team,” said Burbach. “These athletes exemplify the spirit of our brand, a wild sense of adventure, the durability of grit, the optimism of seeing what’s possible, and the wisdom to experience. We look forward to supporting and collaborating with them as they continue to push the boundaries of what is possible in the outdoors.”

For more information about Mountain Hardwear and its award-winning products, please visit www.mountainhardwear.com.

About Mountain Hardwear

Mountain Hardwear, Inc., was founded in 1993 and is based in Richmond, CA. We exist to encourage and equip people to seek a wilder path in life. For 30 years, we’ve built essential equipment for climbers, mountaineers, and outdoor athletes and have supported expeditions on the world’s highest peaks. Relentless precision continues to inspire everything we do — our designers sweat every stitch and detail to continuously improve function, durability, and comfort.

Mountain Hardwear is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Columbia Sportswear Company that distributes its products through specialty outdoor retailers in the United States and 34 countries worldwide. www.mountainhardwear.com